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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm Running Around Like a Chicken...

It seems that at the start of every week I am running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. Willy-nilly all over the place. I don't like it. I like have a plan of attack and a course of action. At a new-teacher orientation, the speaker compared first year teaching to being like a duck. Try to remain calm on the outside while your kicking like crazy under the water: just keep kicking you'll make it.

{That will be my last bird reference for the day.}

Anyway, in the midst of trying to figure out where students are at, what the greatest needs are, figuring out how to get them to understand concepts that they will need not only in life but those lovely state tests in the spring there has been a calming presence: the tips, tricks, and advice of those who have been there and done that.

Mondays just aren't good days, they are especially long for me this fall with a grad class that goes from 4:30-7 not including the lengthy drive to get there. I do enjoy my classmates, the professor, and the content....but there is just so much else to do! Yesterday, however, two valuable resources were shared with me, and I'm going to share them with you today. {Hopefully, I haven't been living under a rock, and they are new and useful resources for you as well.}

The first comes from Amy at The Resource(ful) Room. {Amazing blog, check it out.}

Love, love, love this website! You can create CBM probes on here for.... FREE! I've got plans to spend some time this evening making probes to needed specifications and downloading to print. Part of my job is essentially "managing" another (very small) school; only going in once a week to provide services myself. The rest of the time, the full time para acts in my place. I wanted to create a book of probes for her to pull from that align to the goals of the students on my caseload there. I saw Amy's post on Data Collection and wanted to try and replicate her system, thanks to her willingness to share I will be able to do just that! :)

The second resource comes from my mentor teacher.

I had heard of the Florida Center for Reading Research, but I hadn't explored it much yet. Yesterday, my mentor sent me the link to download 117 pages of probing goodness: Cool Tools. These are broken down into specific areas to test/probe/progress monitor. 

So even with Monday being crazy {like every other day at the beginning of the year...or maybe every day of the school year for a new teacher, ha!} It was great to have the waters calm, the chicken dance stop for a bit, and begin to formulate a plan again, and to begin to get back "on track." 

I hope these resources help you as much as they are helping me!

Mrs. Whitehair

 


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